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Finding work after 4 & 1/2 years caring for Mum - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Finding work after 4 & 1/2 years caring for Mum

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
It is criminal that someone as highly qualified as you cannot be usefully employed in a proper capacity. Do you have any references at all from your former employers? Even if you can't trace the people that you worked with, because they have moved on or retired, surely the employer has an employment record for you?
What about applying for work in charity shops or British heart foundation furniture places etc or Mind charity shops? they wont want 2 references from previous employers etc. You could do that for a month or 2 then use that reference for other work.
Hi everyone,
My story is similar to other former carers on this topic.
In 2011, I gave up a well paid job after 26 years with the same company to care for my mum who had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I got no support from my employer and as mum was not able to look after herself any more, but not bad enough to go in a home, I decided to care for her full time as we lived together anyway. I have no regrets as we had six valuable years together which I will treasure.
In 2017, I was so exhausted, that I had to make the difficult decision to put her in a home, which I unfortunately regret as she was treated appallingly for the last year of her life. She died last Aug 2018 in hospital of pneumonia and I miss her terribly.
Now I am a young 61 years of age and unemployed for the first time in my life. I am utterly shocked by the attitude of employers who think that caring is not an occupation. One employer in an interview accused me of lying on my CV as he did not believe that anyone would give up their job to care for a parent. Glad I'm not his mother!
Volunteering is worse. Nobody would take me on because of my lack of references, even at my local hospital. You would think that they would understand, but no. Eventually, last week, I made a last-ditch attempt to volunteer and got in touch with my local Age UK. They have taken me on in their furniture showroom, WITHOUT REFERENCES! It feels so good to be useful again. Living alone it is very easy to get depressed and after caring for six years, I feel I have a purpose in life.
However, it may not help me to find a job. Today, I attended a recruitment fair at my local hospital. It was like being kicked in the stomach. They take the same attitude as every other employer I have met. No references, no job. So much for our wonderful NHS!
Has anyone else managed to find work after caring? I need all the advice I can get.
Kim, Why not put down the names of your managers from the last two jobs you did work and the companies'phone numbers, even if they are no longer at those companies?
Prospective employers hate empty spaces on the application form. Perhaps you may have a pastor who knows you well. You need to get beyond the first screening out and get an interview to sell yourself to the hiring manager.
I'm 72 and have been retired for over 13 years so no up to date work experience, when I had to supply references for a volunteering job with a local charity I gave the names of two long term friends who knew me well and who had worked or still worked in important jobs. One held a senior post at a well known boy's grammar school and the other is a highly regarded financial adviser.

In reality all any employer is looking for is someone with (a) relative experience for the job concerned and (b) to know that you are trustworthy/reliable.

If you find a job that you really, really want and the only thing standing in your way is the lack of references then it might be worthwhile offering your services for a trial period without pay (say anything from one to three months).
Kay_170212 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:21 pm
I am utterly shocked by the attitude of employers who think that caring is not an occupation. One employer in an interview accused me of lying on my CV as he did not believe that anyone would give up their job to care for a parent. Glad I'm not his mother!
Volunteering is worse. Nobody would take me on because of my lack of references, even at my local hospital. You would think that they would understand, but no. Eventually, last week, I made a last-ditch attempt to volunteer and got in touch with my local Age UK. They have taken me on in their furniture showroom, WITHOUT REFERENCES! It feels so good to be useful again.

I'm speechless (not something normally associated with me!). Not believing that anyone would give up their job to care for a parent? He obviously never read that report from CarersUK a few months back 600 people a day giving up paid work due to unpaid caring! And as for the charities, they should hang their heads in shame. A lot of these organisations take on convicted criminals and ex-offenders who are on probation or on licence, as part of Community Payback or whatever it's called these days - and quite right too, everyone deserves a second chance. But second chances should also apply to carers / former carers who have committed no crime (quite the reverse) but understandably lack references from recent employment. Honestly, there are times I want to weep in despair and frustration!

Edit: I forgot to say kudos to Age UK for taking a more sensible approach and giving you a much-needed break!
Dee wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:56 am
Kay_170212 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:21 pm
I am utterly shocked by the attitude of employers who think that caring is not an occupation. One employer in an interview accused me of lying on my CV as he did not believe that anyone would give up their job to care for a parent. Glad I'm not his mother!
Volunteering is worse. Nobody would take me on because of my lack of references, even at my local hospital. You would think that they would understand, but no. Eventually, last week, I made a last-ditch attempt to volunteer and got in touch with my local Age UK. They have taken me on in their furniture showroom, WITHOUT REFERENCES! It feels so good to be useful again.

I'm speechless (not something normally associated with me!). Not believing that anyone would give up their job to care for a parent? He obviously never read that report from CarersUK a few months back 600 people a day giving up paid work due to unpaid caring! And as for the charities, they should hang their heads in shame. A lot of these organisations take on convicted criminals and ex-offenders who are on probation or on licence, as part of Community Payback or whatever it's called these days - and quite right too, everyone deserves a second chance. But second chances should also apply to carers / former carers who have committed no crime (quite the reverse) but understandably lack references from recent employment. Honestly, there are times I want to weep in despair and frustration!

Edit: I forgot to say kudos to Age UK for taking a more sensible approach and giving you a much-needed break!
Do you have a link to the report or not? I want to read it.
Leah this is the report to which Dee refers

https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campa ... urvey-2019

(if you go to the main Carers UK Website - link can be found under the "Quick Links" tab at the top of the page) and then click on the "News & Campaigns" tab in the red banner, you'll find the Carers UK current reports/surveys).
It is fair to record that former carers have NO support when the caring days end.

A problem that has been with is all for decades ... no one out there takes on the role of a " Carers Probation Officer " ... someone
within the local community to guide a new , former , carer , into the ways of the outside world on their release from caring.

A case of evey man / woman for themselves ... without a life jacket.

( The age old prisoner / carer analogy ? )

Has been raised with both supporting organisations from time to time with no result whatsoever.

The abhorrent 21 Hour Rule does not assist carers to retrain / educate themselves in advance of their caring days ending !

Another reason why this forum is so vital to carers ... if only many more would participate.